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Entered on: December 1, 2008 7:17 AM by RobotSpider

Sorry about the explitive in the subject line, but I think you'll agree.  Of all the anal-fisting, mother-fucking, shit-eating, gang-raping, CHRIST... FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK

NEWS 591 - 21 Comments
From: Bunky Entered on: December 1, 2008 10:13 AM

No Apolgies needed here Robot, it is Jackassery after all! Those switches are bullshit! Now every Chitlin will be asking Santa for one at that price!

From: Ross Entered on: December 1, 2008 1:32 PM

I don't get it.  How does creating lag for yourself help you?  That site is crap - it doesn't even explain what a lag switch is, or what it does other than "create lag".

From: RobotSpider Entered on: December 1, 2008 3:34 PM

I think it depends on how the game is architected, but generally, the game is a bunch of actions that resolve in the order in which they happen.  If I induce lag and walk over to where 'you are' according to my game, then shoot you, then reconnect the game you may have rolled away (according to your screen), but when the events are replayed according to the game clock you were shot dead BEFORE you rolled away.  Thus; you never rolled away, according to the game.

It seems like this would only work if you are the host, but I don't know if GoW2 maintains a traditional 'server' role, or if it's more distributed than GoW.  If you ARE the host, you aren't creating lag for yourself.  You're creating lag for everyone else.  We've all been in that situation where you can run around and everyone else seems to be stuck doing the last thing they were doing (running, shooting, standing).  Since there is no telemetry from the server indicating who's doing what, your system maintains player states.  That's a way of tricking your system into handling an acceptable number of dropped packets.  If you drop a frame or two while running, chances are you're still running when it reconnects.  So you, and your teammates, never knew you briefly disconnected.


From: Crockett Entered on: December 2, 2008 12:24 AM

Is there any way for the Xbox/Gears network to determine if these switches are being used?

What is the point?  How does one gain a sense of accomplishment if you are using one of these switches to beat all comers?

I would love to see a match where multiple players are using a lag switch. Now that would be some f'ed up shit. "Oh, I am cheating - you are, too? What? You mean we have to play on equal footing?"

From: RobotSpider Entered on: December 2, 2008 8:06 AM

This is just more speculation, but I would think that if several people were using something like this, the game would disconnect because you would have 10 or more seconds of no activity.

There's no way for them to detect this kind of device.  They can try to detect a pattern, but it would be hard to tell the difference between a device like this and, say, a Lowell dial-up connection.

What's the point, you ask?  Two words:


From: The Bone Entered on: December 2, 2008 10:07 AM

Such tactics are for the merchant class. The warrior class live and die by the honor of their own merit.

Anyways, don't you invite people you want to play with? If someone were using a lag switch it would become apparent after a while. Boot them off and ban them. 

From: Bunky Entered on: December 2, 2008 10:53 AM

I have never hosted a Gears game, but I don't think you can boot until the end of the game.

The problem is, the new Gears does not have the same privacy features. You can set the game to private, and only the people on your list can jump in. There is no invite only feature.

This leads to the "Chitlin Piggyback Factor." You can have someone on your list who jumps in, then everyone on their list can jump in, and so forth. Soon, your room is dominated by Chitlins of an unknown orgin, and everything goes turdy. 

From: RobotSpider Entered on: December 2, 2008 12:08 PM
The Bone said:


Anyways, don't you invite people you want to play with? If someone were using a lag switch it would become apparent after a while. Boot them off and ban them. 

The problem is trying to play public (i.e. ranked) games.  Your party can only be as large as a single team, and you can't pick your opponents.

Bunky, I've been putting some thought into the whole Chitlin Piggyback Factor (which I've started referring to as the 'Chitlin-Uncertainty Principle').  If you just set your status to 'offline' and then jump in our party/game, we shouldn't have to worry about the CUP, right?  There are some issues with not being able to invite you if you're 'offline', but as long as you can join us, we should be good.

Anyone have a thought on that?


From: Crockett Entered on: December 3, 2008 9:58 PM
RobotSpider said:

If you just set your status to 'offline' and then jump in our aparty/game, we shouldn't have to worry about the CUP, right? 

 And Bunky, the world wants to know, what size are those CUP's?

From: Ross Entered on: December 4, 2008 7:58 AM

I'm still not buying this lag switch being very useful.  Unless there is some really suspect network code floating around out there, that is.  Back in the days when I was really into this stuff (think Quake 2 and the original Half Life), you were definitely penalized for having lag, and the server (or host) was the master of record.  There was no way to exploit yourself having lag.  If this has changed, it seems like a regression in design.

From: RobotSpider Entered on: December 4, 2008 10:58 AM

I know the Quake 2 engine could run as both client-server and dedicated server.  Lag would not work in your favor in a dedicated server environment, necessarily.   It is a regression in design if you're talking about data-integrity. If they wanted to make sure you weren't dropping packets on purpose, or modifying packets as they went through, they'd be using encryption to prevent tampering.  They could also use TCP (guaranteed delivery) protocol instead of UDP (best-effort delivery), but TCP has overhead (i.e. slower).  If you drop a handfull of UDP packets, you usually don't notice them in the game, unless you're using a microphone (think Bunky on a hotel-room connection).  Some of that has to do with how the processor prioritizes its activities, but they also indicate dropped packets.  If lag is frustrating NOW, imagine what it would be like to get disconnected every time someone had a single packet dropped by their dial-up connection.

It's a sliding scale between performance and security.  They've made online play fairly fast and trouble-free compared to how it used to be.  But that's only if everyone plays by the rules.  That was also back when people were just happy to play the game and build some skilz.  Now they'd rather piss off us old fuckers in the process.

I figure people have stopped reading long before now, so I'll stop.  I don't disagree, Ross.  It could be designed better.  Obviously, as a software designer, you are well aware of trade-offs in design.

Ok, enough Tec-Talk.  Now back to your regularly scheduled JACKASSERY!!


From: NickNick Entered on: December 4, 2008 1:07 PM

Bunky, you can even go on to and post them anonymously.

From: Bunky Entered on: December 4, 2008 6:16 PM
Oh no!
From: RobotSpider Entered on: December 5, 2008 6:18 AM

It's ok, I heard they grade on the curve.

From: Ross Entered on: December 5, 2008 7:53 AM

As far as I know, all internet gaming is TCP-based.  UDP doesn't even make sense in this case because beyond not being guaranteed delivery, more importantly, it is a broadcast protocol rather than point-to-point.  Players need only send their updates to the server, not each other (and over a WAN, it would be crazy to try). 

I've always been told and experienced lag as being only detrimental, and that's all that really makes sense to me.  Color me skeptical of the lag switch.

From: RobotSpider Entered on: December 5, 2008 10:54 AM


Excerpts from the article:


UDP uses a simple transmission model without implicit hand-shaking dialogues for guaranteeing reliability, ordering, or data integrity. Thus, UDP provides an unreliable service and datagrams may arrive out of order, appear duplicated, or go missing without notice. UDP assumes that error checking and correction is either not necessary or performed in the application, avoiding the overhead of such processing at the network interface level.

Unlike TCP, UDP is compatible with packet broadcast. (i.e. not ONLY for broadcast)

Common network applications that use UDP include... and many online games.

After a momentary panic when I thought I was completely wrong (it's been a few years since I studied TCP/IP), I thought about the fact that when you have to open your firewall for XBOX Live, you open several UDP ports.  UDP can't be used on the Internet by itself, which is why it's part of the TCP/IP protocol stack.  It's the IP part of the stack that handles the internet routing part of the trip with the UDP packets nestled safely inside their IP wrappers.  The remote router removes the wrapper to get at the gooey, caramel filled center before passing it on to your local network.

I'm not trying to start a geek pissing match since we're probably the only two that care about this stuff.

From: Ross Entered on: December 5, 2008 12:12 PM

I stand corrected!

I did know that you open a UDP port for Xbox Live but I always assumed it was for something non-game LAN-related.  I guess I was assuming the point about UDP over the WAN making it useless.

I looked into it a little more, and it looks like (granted this is just some guy's blog) most network games are UDP, not TCP!  I was way off. 

You're right, I think my assumption was that UDP was always broadcast based (rather than simply being connectionless) is what cornfused me.  In my job, we use UDP/broadcast based messaging protocols as well as TCP based ones.  Broadcast and point-to-point can be acheived with either protocol, but one is definitely better suited than the other out of the box in each case. 

Thanks for setting me straight.  That's a very interesting factoid (to me, anyway).


From: The Bone Entered on: December 5, 2008 12:12 PM

This video from some supernerds has everything you ever wanted to know about the lag switch without all your TLA (three letter acronym) mumbo jumbo.

From: Ross Entered on: December 5, 2008 12:43 PM

Well, I guess that video makes sense.  I agree with the fat guy, though: although lagging could be advantageous, it's hard to see it as a silver bullet.  It seems too hard to manage to be more than a tool to be highly annoying. 

So in conclusion: I recant most of my skepticism about the switch but still doubt a lot of their supposed utility.  And I honestly still don't have a thorough understanding of how it can work so that makes me not want to buy into it as much as well. 

Just as long as Bunky's multitudinous Friends and Relations don't fire these up in a Gears match, if only for the annoyance factor, I'll be okay.

From: RobotSpider Entered on: December 5, 2008 12:45 PM
Ross said:

It seems too hard to manage to be more than a tool to be highly annoying.


From: Bunky Entered on: December 5, 2008 4:43 PM

I cannot claim the multitudininous friends, however the relatives would find know thrill in cheating, and wouldn't get it unless I bought it for them anyhow!

As for the random chitlins, some of those come from Supply and Jay B as well. I have cleaned up the friends list somewhat.


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